Pizza Sorrentina

When life hands you lemons, make pizza     

A delightful new twist for lemon lovers, pizza Sorrentina adapted from a Rozanne Gold article in the Wall Street Journal. 

While I gather my notes for other dishes that I’ve made the past several weeks, here is a surprise of a pizza recipe that I just had to give its own space. When I first read about it I knew immediately that it must go on the hurry up and make list. So armed with a pile of lemons searching for the thinnest skinned one that I could slice very thin, almost see-through, I set out to make my pizza for one as I wasn’t sure that Michael would like it, but surprises of surprises, he liked it but not a substitute for his traditional pizza preference. I’ll post the link for the recipe and the changes that I made.

I didn’t have the 00 flour so I made a favorite reliable dough recipe, I will make a point of ordering the flour for the next time, but my old standby (adapted slightly) crust worked just fine. The FC dough can be divided stored in zip bags and frozen for future use.

I baked the pizza on a pizza stone for about 6 minutes (rotated once and transferred it to a rack and baked for another 3 or so minutes, keep an eye on it.


1¼ cups very warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3½ cups 00 Caputo flour, plus more for dusting the board

(I made Fine Cooking’s Easy Pizza dough recipe but made it with 1/2 AP flour and in its equivalent 1/2 cake flour)

Extra-virgin olive oil


18 thin lemon slices (about 3 lemons’ worth)
9 ounces smoked fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
(I grated the cheese on a large hole grater)
15 large leaves fresh basil

1. Place water in a large bowl. Stir in yeast, salt, and sugar and let sit 5 minutes until the mixture begins to bubble. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour until a ball of dough forms; it will be sticky. Turn out dough onto a floured board. Knead 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a large clean bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Keep in a warm place for 8 to 12 hours.

2. When the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto the board. Using floured hands, divide the dough into 3 pieces (about 7½ ounces each). Knead each piece for 1 minute, then again, lightly, with a little oil. Place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Keep in a warm place for 2 hours or until again doubled in size.

3. Heat the oven to 550° degrees or as high as your oven will go and keep it at that temperature for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, soak lemon slices in water for 15 minutes, and then pat dry between sheets of paper towels.

4. Flour your hands and press on a ball of dough, shape it into pizza. Place on a rimmed baking sheet or my preference, on a pizza peel dusted with semolina flour and stretch, using your fingers, until it is approximately 8 inches in diameter.

I brushed the pizza disk with EVOO and pinches of ground black and red pepper. Distribute 3 ounces cheese over the surface, leaving a 1-inch rim. Arrange 6 lemon slices over cheese and tuck in 5 basil leaves, then drizzle everything lightly with oil, including the rim and a touch more pepper. Place on the highest rack in the oven and bake until puffy, about 6 minutes; then turn on the broiler and broil until the crust takes on some color, 30-60 seconds. Remove pizza from the oven and serve. Repeat with the remaining dough.